Historic Churches of Edisto Island

Edisto Island is one of the state’s earlier-settled islands. Lord Ashley Cooper acquired plantation lands there in 1674. The state’s Colonial Governor Joseph Morton built a home on the island in the 1680s. The island flourished as a producer of sea island cotton. As a result of the booming wealth on the island, many churches were built in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries. Three historic churches have been beautifully preserved on the island. Come tour the grounds and meander through the graveyards.

Episcopal Church on Edisto
New First Missionary Baptist Church
SC Lowcountry

The Edisto Island Baptist Church was built in 1818 due to the efforts of Hepzibah Jenkins Townsend, the wife of a local plantation owner (Bleak Hall Plantation – modern day Botany Bay Plantation). She raised the funds to build the sanctuary by baking and selling pastries and other baked goods in Charleston. The church sanctuary includes a second story gallery where many slaves worshipped. Originally the church was square in plan and built on a tabby foundation. By simply viewing the sides of the church, the line of a later addition is visible. The church is sheathed in beaded weatherboard.

Episcopal Church on Edisto
New First Missionary Baptist Church
SC Lowcountry

Federal troops overtook the island during the Civil War causing plantation owners to flee. The former slaves remained and were deeded the church in 1865. It then became known as the New First Missionary Baptist Church. During Reconstruction, the black congregation doubled the size of the sanctuary. An addition was built on a brick pier foundation. The front façade was carefully removed and reattached after the expansion was completed. A two-story front portico and pediment were added in 1880. The portico is supported by four square posts. This addition is proof of the wealth that was gained by the freedmen during the Reconstruction period. The façade has two transom-topped entrances and a central window. Smaller gallery level windows grace a second story.

Episcopal Church on Edisto
New First Missionary Baptist Church
SC Lowcountry

A small rectangular belfry with a tent roof of standing seam metal and louvered opening on three sides rises above the portico. It is topped with a crowning finial. The only 20th century changes to the building were the additions of restrooms in the rear.  A newer sanctuary was built in 1982 that sits just next door. New First Missionary Baptist Church now worships in the more modern sanctuary. The Episcopal Church on Edisto now holds services in the historic structure. The grave of founder Hepzibah Jenkins Townsend lies in the yard of the historic church.

Episcopal Church on Edisto/ New First Missionary Baptist Church
1644 SC Hwy 174
Edisto Island, (843)631-5040

Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island
SC Lowcountry

The Presbyterian Church on Edisto was first established in 1685. The building that is in use today was built in 1831. This historic structure has changed very little over the years.  The two-story rectangular church was renovated in 1836 to replace the portico and add a coved ceiling. Massive Greek Doric columns support the triangular pediment of the recessed portico.  The frieze above the columns contains a pattern of triglyphs and metopes. The church front also features two Palladian entrances with fanlights. Each church side has a matching door.

Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island
SC Lowcountry

The roofline is topped with a cupola. Shuttered windows on the church sides are also topped with semi-circular fan lights. The second-story gallery is lit by a row of smaller windows. Inside a gallery wraps around the back and sides of the sanctuary. During Union occupation the church was used by the former slaves of the congregation. They would continue to use the church until 1867. This church serves as one of the oldest Presbyterian congregations in the state, having been formed in 1695.

Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island
SC Lowcountry

The church grounds contain a prayer chapel and graves that date as far back as 1787. In fact, the graveyard is thought to be quite haunted. The tomb of Julia Legare can be found in there. Julia was just 22 when she died in 1852. Legend has it she contacted diphtheria and slipped into a coma. She was pronounced dead and buried in the family mausoleum. Local folk lore states years later, when the tomb was opened for another burial, Julia’s body was found to have been buried alive. After this discovery, the door to the tomb was often found mysteriously opened. Today, no door secures the mausoleum.

Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island
2164 SC Hwy 174
Edisto Island, (843)869-2326

Trinity Episcopal Church
Edisto Island
SC Lowcountry

Trinity Episcopal Church was first built on Edisto Island in 1840. That structure was occupied by Union forces during the Civil War and left unharmed. It was destroyed during an accidental fire in 1876. The current structure was built in 1880. It stands as the only example of Victorian church architecture on the island. The one-story rectangular church is sheathed in weatherboard. Slender square posts support the triangular pediment. The vertical planks of the pediment siding are pointed to form a zig zag pattern. The inset steeple is covered in white shingles and has a decorative louver on each side.

The double door entrance and clear glass flanking windows are topped with semicircular fanlights. A triangular louver is positioned above the door in the pediment. The louvers, roof and shutters are painted a dark green which contrasts with the pristine white of the wood. The interior of the sanctuary is covered in patterned strips of beadboard.

Trinity Episcopal Church
Edisto Island
SC Lowcountry

Trinity Episcopal Church
1589 SC Hwy 174
Edisto Island, (843)869-3568

For more information on Edisto Island, visit southcarolinalowcountry.com/edistoisland.

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The Lowcountry & Resort Islands Region of South Carolina includes the four, southern-most counties in the state, Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, and Colleton, which are bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Savannah River and the state of Georgia.

simplysoutherncottage keeps us in awe with each her projects. This bed swing refresh is one of our favorites!
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The shore gently recedes beneath the stunning Pawleys Island Pier. The unique island town, located about 25 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 70 miles north of Charleston, exudes laid-back, beachy vibes. Locals have definitely adopted an island state of mind and encourage visitors to as well. When you go, make sure to relax on the beach, explore the famous sand dunes, or fish in one of the many adjacent creeks.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: We guarantee that you’re going to want to spend a whole day here. We recommend getting to the beach at around 10am.🗓️ Best time of the year: Pawleys Island has the best weather during the spring and early summer months.🏖️ Things to do while there: Pawleys Island Nature Park, Pawleys Island Chapel, Hopsewee Plantation.🐠 Things to visit in the area: Brookgreen Gardens (brookgreen_gardens), take a walking ghost tour, Myrtle Beach (mymyrtlebeach), Harborwalk Marina, South Carolina Maritime Museum (southcarolinamaritimemuseum).🏨 Where to stay: The Oceanfront Litchfield Inn (oceanfrontlitchfieldinn), Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort (litchfieldbeachandgolf), Sea View Inn (seaviewinn), 620 Prince (620prince).Photo by qcphotographer
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Headed down the road....Edisto Island.  #edisto #sclowcountry #trees #endofday  #beauty #islandsofsc
Spanish moss drapes the live oak trees that are ubiquitous to the Edisto Island area. Did you know that Edisto gets its name from the native Edistow people? The Edistow Native Americans were a sub tribe of the Cusabo indians, a group of Native Americans who lived along the Atlantic coast in South Carolina.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: Stop by mid-morning. That way you can explore the island, grab lunch, and stay for the amazing sunset if you choose.🏖️ Things to do while there: Edisto Environmental Learning Center, Boneyard Beach, Scott Creek Inlet, Big Bay Creek, SeaCow Eatery.☀️ Things to visit in the area: Jungle Road Park, Bay Creek Park, Otter Islands, Spanish Mount Point.📆 Best time of the year to visit: For warmer weather come anywhere from March-August.🏨 Where to stay: Fripp Island Golf & Beach Resort (frippislandrsrt), Seabrook Island Club (seabrook_sc), The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort (kiawahresort), Charleston Kiawah Island/Andell Inn (andellinn).Photo by qcphotographer
Discover at your own leisure at the coastaldiscoverymuseum 🌳  From century-old buildings with storied pasts, to wooden boardwalks that stretch into the Jarvis Creek salt marsh, there's always something to explore!
Reposted from coastaldiscoverymuseum Hilton Head Island has the second highest tidal range on the East Coast, second only to Canada’s Bay of Fundy. The average tidal range here is 7-9 feet between high and low tides.The Salt Marsh is one of our area’s most prominent features, not to mention an essential resource. Most coastal creatures depend partially or even fully on the Salt Marsh for survival as it serves as a nursery, as well as a water filter vital for the functioning of the entire coastal ecosystem.Explore the Lowcountry up close with a visit to the Coastal Discovery Museum and head out into the marsh via the Osprey Outlook floating dock on a self-guided tour or register for the weekly Salt Marsh Discovery program to learn from an expert how and why this particular environment is so important. (843) 689-6767 ext. 223 or coastaldiscovery.org.
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A visitor takes a leisurely stroke under a canopy of live oaks draped with Spanish moss in the Palmetto Bluff (palmettobluff) neighborhood of Bluffton, South Carolina. Palmetto Bluff is a picturesque community that sits in the heart of Lowcountry. Nestled along the May River, it’s abundant with beautiful walking trails, historic sites, and stunning views.⏰ Best time of the day to visit: There is no wrong time to visit Palmetto Bluff. However, we highly recommend sticking around for one of their spectacular sunsets.🛶 Things to do while there: Stop by Cole’s for some regionally inspired Southern fare, paddle board, kayak, or canoe along the May River, go saltwater fishing, take a tour at Bluffton Jack's Old Town Tours.🌊 Things to visit in the area: Palmetto Bluff Conservancy, Old Town Bluffton, Bluffton Oyster Factory Park, May River Sandbar, Heyward House Museum and Welcome Center (heywardhouse).📆 Best time of the year to visit: For the best weather, we recommend visiting between March and May or from September to November.🏨 Where to stay: The Montage Palmetto Bluff Resort (montagepalmettobluff) is the only resort in Palmetto Bluff. However, there are plenty of places to stay in the surrounding areas including: Old Town Bluffton Inn (oldtownblufftoninn), The Inn & Club at Harbour Town (theinnandclubatharbourtown), Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island (sonestahhi).Photo by jpgriceoz
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The seed has been planted…going to be a long couple of weeks….#scducks #ducks #duckhunting #moistsoil #moistsoilmanagement #redriderbbgun #sclowcountry #savannah #beaufort #charlestonsc #goldenisles #ducksunlimited
It’s my last week in the Lowcountry. I will be incredibly happy to be back home, but I will sure miss these views. ☀️🌴[Image Description: a photo of a sun setting over the Lowcountry wetlands. The cloud in the sky are reflected on the water below.]
I'm wringing this chamois for all its worth. The diversity of subjects at this place is endless.#ilfordfp4 #lowcountryphotographer #southernconversations #sclowcountry #lowcountryscenes #saltmarsh #bnwmood #mediumformatfilm #silvervisionfilm
Need a project this weekend? Add a splash of color and touch of gardening to your porch decor. Don’t have a green thumb? Not to worry.⠀
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Riding into the weekend like...Isn't this live oak tree tunnel beautiful? Live oak, draped in Spanish moss, is emblematic of South Carolina and many of the Southern states. We love these iconic trees, not only for their beauty, but their history as well. The average lifespan of a live oak is 300 years!Photo by qcphotographer
The tickets for our Decoration Day Gullah Campfire Supper with Stories and Songs are available now through our website, link in bio.We are Hipcamp hosts.  You can attend the event and stay over, extra spaces will be made available.  Contact us for more information.  Our Hipcamp listing name is Friendly Fowl Farm.This event will celebrate the United States Colored Troops in the Beaufort area and the establishment of the Grand Army Union Post and the Hall, it’s members and their mission.The guest speaker for this year is Rev. Dr. Elijah Washington, the current Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic whose historic hall is located at 706 Newcastle Street, Beaufort.Built in 1896, this meeting hall for the post is believed to be the only surviving building in South Carolina associated with the Grand Army of the Republic. The post hosted annual Decoration Day services at Beaufort National Cemetery and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War continue that tradition. It is included in the Beaufort Historic District.
If you have period clothing please join your hosts amjones42 Tony and orbgtennis Belinda and dress the part.  Re-enactors are welcome.#decorationday #memorialday #unitedstatescoloredtroops #ushistory #history #travelandleisure #farmtotable #camping #unionarmy #uscoloredinfantry #historymakers #travelandlearn #gullah #gullahgeechee #blackhistory #grandarmyoftherepublic #grandarmyoftherepublic #robertsmalls #civilwarhistory #civilwarreenactment #sclowcountry #discoversc #campinglife #explore #getoutside #hipcamp #historicbeaufort
The magic of the season has begun in our SC Lowcountry. Come see!#thatsmylowcountry #naturallyamazing #sclowcountry #beaufortcountysc #colletoncountysc #hamptoncountysc #jaspercountysc #tistheseason #holidayseason
“Beaufort River Sunset”
Digital Drawing in Adobe Illustrator
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The South Carolina Lowcountry Guidebook is filled with many things to see and do in the beautiful Lowcountry of South Carolina. Please fill out the information and we will send you a FREE GUIDE BOOK.


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